MOONACHIE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — According to local residents, Aldo Bazzarelli never stops working. And when Superstorm Sandy left the restaurant that his family has owned for 41 years under water, he knew what he had to do.
Bazzarelli spent his retirement money rebuilding the restaurant.
“I said to them we’re going to build again. I don’t care how much debt we have to go through,” Bazzarelli told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider on Monday.
The Bazzarellis have not received any aid. After the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied their request for flood insurance the family paid $200,000 out-of-pocket to repair their restaurant.
Bazzarelli’s Restaurant is a staple in the Moonachie community. Its reopening is a pivotal step in the post-Sandy recovery.
“It’s important that everybody sees that they can come back here, we are still here, we are rebuilding, we didn’t give up,” said Denise Bazzarelli.
Friends and customers pitched in, donating supplies, painting, and tearing down damaged sheet rock.
“Friends and family really were the backbone of all this,” Susanna Bazzarelli said.
The same friends who showed up to help, are now showing up to eat.
“It’s kind of like normal. It’s back to normal,” customer Linda Emr said.
It’s exactly the type of normal that a still-suffering community needs.
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